The brilliants changed everything.
Since 1980, 1% of the world has been born with gifts we'd only dreamed of. The ability to sense a person's most intimate secrets, or predict the stock market, or move virtually unseen. For thirty years the world has struggled with a growing divide between the exceptional...and the rest of us.
Now a terrorist network led by brilliants has crippled three cities. Supermarket shelves stand empty. 911 calls go unanswered. Fanatics are burning people alive.
Nick Cooper has always fought to make the world better for his children. As both a brilliant and an advisor to the president of the United States, he's against everything the terrorists represent. But as America slides toward a devastating civil war, Cooper is forced to play a game he dares not lose - because his opponents have their own vision of a better world.
And to reach it, they're willing to burn this one down.
From Marcus Sakey, "the master of the mindful page turner" (Gillian Flynn) and "one of our best storytellers" (Michael Connelly), Book Two of the Brilliance Saga is a relentless thrill ride that will change the way you look at your world - and the people around you.
©2014 Marcus Sakey. (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
If you haven't read the first one, this won't make much sense. If you have, and you liked it, this book will also work for you. It has the same kinds of plot holes that most science fiction has -- particularly around the way national politics and the Presidential use of force are described -- but they're not any more problematic than most other such books. People have said the story seemed forced, but I don't agree. I think this is an excellent progression of the story and actually makes some of the more unlikely aspects of the first book make a bit more sense. If anything, this one may have been a bit more grounded. There is an assassin in this story that has a type of gift not described before and I thought it was very well considered. It's the sort of thing that definitely provides a big advantage, but is also one of the hardest to live with and both aspects were well described. The gifted in this book are less perfect than in the first, and the result is more believable.
I have a rule with books: give it at least 3 hours before making up your mind. I gave this one 6 hours, since I really did enjoy the first in the series. It just didn't grab me, not in the slightest. Terribly disappointing.
It's not completely surprising though. It was a great one book concept. Clearly 'Brilliance' was enough of a success that Sakey and his publishers felt a 'saga' was warranted. Unfortunately, in this listener's opinion, that is not the case.
Much of the book felt extremely forced. Emotions were being shoved down my throat rather than enticed out organically. While it's sic-fi/alt. reality/semi-apocalyptic in nature, the plot line didn't seem natural or 'realistic', even within the confines of Sakey's created world. It feels very much like Sakey had to force out a continuation of Book 1, rather than letting the story end at its natural place.
Daniels did a fine job of narration as always. In fact he's the only thing that saved this from a one star review. That and limited aspects of the Ohio couple's storyline.
Like I said at the beginning, I only made it through about 60% of this book before giving up, so your own milage may vary and there may be an eventual payoff I am missing. I'm willing to take that chance as there are many other books in my queue.
I love espionage and detective thrillers but will listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
With Book 3 of the Brilliance Saga being released next month I finally got around to listening to Book 2. The concept of the thriller series is unique in my reading experience. The US is being torn apart by a war between the brilliant people, the relatively few mentally and physically talented individuals, and normal people.
Luke Daniels does a great job of narration.
I loved Brilliance, so I was really happy to continue on in this world, in A Better World. The story was slow at times, but more often fast-paced, and definitely entertaining and engaging. Once again we are following Nick Cooper, first seeing the consequences of what happened at the end of the previous book. Then seeing where he's at, who he's working for, who is out to get him, who he can trust, and where his love life is. Sorry, for being vague, but I'm avoiding spoilers.
I like Nick a lot. He's a fantastic character. So when the scenes involve him, I generally find them exciting. Then while following along with Nick and the older characters, we are also introduced to some new ones. This took an adjustment, getting used to the change of pace. But I found the new additions to be really important to the overall storyline, liked getting to know them, and enjoyed what Sakey did with them. There were some crazy things happening along the way to all the characters. All of it kept me entertained and trying to figure out where the story was going.
And then that ending! Sakey really put it all out there in a big display. The world will never be the same. Now where will they go from here? I can only imagine it will be gripping, action-packed, heart-racing excitement until the very end. And I'm looking forward to whatever is coming next.
In sales and on the road a lot. Love SciFi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and the occasional Non-Fiction. Funny. Opinionated.
Ok, I was not crazy about the first book and liked it juuust enough to give the second a try. lack of character depth, cliche plot points, etc etc.
I was pleasantly surprised by this follow-up. still not top-shelf writing by any means, and repetitive as Hell, but when I got through it I certainly wanted more. it was topical given the recent civil unrest in our country, painting a less than flattering but totally realistic view of the government response to crisis. plot hole: didn't take state government into account at all. but I digress, if you read the first and aren't sure I'd say give it a shot.
All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com
A Better World picks up shortly after the conclusion of Brilliance. Nick Cooper, a brilliant himself, worked for Equitable Services (under DAR) hunting down rouge or terrorist or unwanted abnorms. After taking down his boss and the President of the Untied States, after one of his charges, John Smith, enlightens Nick as to what is really going on. Now he has been asked by the new President, form Vice-President, to hunt down a new group of terrorists, The Children of Darwin. With no option to refuse.
Simultaneously Shannon, Cooper's cohort from the last story is embarking on her own missions. Both stories converge eventually. Contrasting to the last audiobook, which had only one point of view to follow, here we have to follow three. Nick Cooper, Shannon and Ethan (normal person) a scientist who's story doesn't make sense until later on. This jumping back and forth kept me for being fully immersed like I was last time.
The uniqueness that made Brilliance such an awesome story, and surrounded it with hype somewhere disappeared in A Better World. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoyed this sequel, it just seemed more mainstream thriller with much of the action in the second half of the story. No real surprises or major plot twists. What kept me interested was the complexity of Cooper, he is the kind of guy that would be wearing a white hat in an old western. Good guy through and through, yet awesomely imperfect.
Simply a solid continuation of a great idea, I cannot wait for the next one.
Audiobook purchased by reviewer.
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Finally!!! Excitement to get back to the book no matter what I'm doing. This has not happened in a long, long time. Thank You Markus Sakey.
somewhat repetitive but held my interest. certainly left me wanting to know what happens in part 3.
I would definitely recommend this book and have already downloaded the last book in the trilogy. It is truly a scary idea that the White House could fall so easily.
"Fast pace, but getting a bit silly in places"
I enjoyed Brilliance and overall I enjoyed A Better World too, but this second book in the series is less credible and the narrator made mistakes which I found distracting. The rapid pace of action is maintained from the first book but unfortunately some chapters are ludicrous. But it was fun, so I will listen to Written in Fire, which must be a recommendation of sorts.
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